Did you join in the Purse Project fun? The theme this time around was using a tea towel, which is right up my alley. I couldn't pass this challenge up! I even used one of my "good" Martha tea towels to make a little fun party bag.
Making this bag is pretty simple, but I'm sure I'll confuse the crap out of you with my directions.
First, I folded my tea towel in half matching up the short sides. I then measured up 9" from the fold and cut off the excess. What you're left with is an 18" piece that will be used for the body and two other pieces (the part you just cut off), which you'll use for the handles.
You don't have to line this bag, but you can if you want to. I did, but it made it kind of bulky. If you line it, cut a piece of lining 18" x whatever the width of your tea towel is. It should be the same size as the tea towel piece you're using as the body. With the fold as the bottom of your bag, stitch up the side seams, leaving about 1/2" unsewn at the top. To get that curve on the bottom corners, I traced a saucer, using that as my stitch line. Do the same for the lining.
Make straps out of the two pieces you cut off earlier.
For the top rectangles, I cut 4 pieces of my lining fabric 4.5"x 10". Sandwich each strap between two of the rectangles, right sides together, spacing them to your desired width, then sew up the rectangle on three sides - short side, long side (with the straps), short side. Leave the bottom open. Turn your rectangle right side out. Next, press to the inside 1/2" of the open edge of the rectangle. At this point, all the raw edges of the rectangle should be on the inside.
If you're using a lining, put your lining inside the tea towel body, wrong sides together. Gather the top, using your machine or a needle in thread (my preferred method). The gathered width should be that of your finished rectangle. Now comes the fun part - shove your gathered top inside the rectangle about 1/2", use lots of pins to keep in place, the sew. Do this for the front and back of the purse. I found this part most challenging because my canvas lining made it all quite bulky. That's it, you're done.
Please excuse my wonky sewing on the twill tape trim, it was an after thought. It was one of those things that I wasn't even sure I was going to keep, but I liked it, so it stayed. Then, I decided that a fluffy flower would be the perfect finishing touch. Lucky for me, I had the perfect fabric and button in my stash. Voila, my tea towel purse!